Japan Gives U.S.$ 33.3 Million Grant to End Polio in Nigeria
In an effort to protect millions of children from polio in Nigeria, the Japanese government yesterday announced a grant of $33.3 million in humanitarian emergency funding to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The grant came as a result of new cases popped up in areas affected by conflicts in the Borno State in Nigeria after the country has been declared "polio-free. The outbreak followed the large-scale movement of families coming from north-eastern Nigeria, an area inaccessible to health services.
In response to the urgent need to rapidly raise immunity to polio virus in the region, Japan has provided exceptional funding from their supplementary budget envelope to purchase polio vaccines, conduct house-to-house polio campaigns and support communication efforts to mobilize communities for vaccination in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.
National Governments in the region, in collaboration with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), comprising the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Rotary International, CDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), have implemented emergency vaccination campaigns throughout the region to rapidly raise childhood immunity to the polio virus and guard against further spread.
A statement from UNICEF stated that, most of the funding, approximately $27 million, will be used in Nigeria.
UNICEF representative Mohamed Fall who stated that the funding fills an urgent need in supporting the on-going polio vaccination campaigns added that it will bring Nigeria back to being within reach of eradicating polio and will protect its neighbours against the spread of the virus.